Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Wishes from Jill's World!

The Eve of Christmas Eve...The excitement continues to build as the big day approaches!

As I'm sure I've mentioned before, Christmas Eve is, without a doubt, my most favourite day of the year. It beats out my birthday, it beats out any other holiday. It even beats out Christmas Day itself. There's nothing I look forward to more!

Usually Christmas Eve day I make a trip to Shawville to pick up snacks and treats for the holidays, then I watch a Christmas movie (Miracle on 34th Street), and wait for the rest of the family to gather at Mom & Dad's for dinner. After dinner, we go to church for Christmas Eve service, which is also my most favourite church service of the year. There's nothing quite like hearing Rolly play "Silent Night" while everyone holds candles and sings along at the end of the service...absolutely beautiful.

And THEN...the party begins!! We all head over to Patti & Randy's next door, where the drinks will flow, the snacks will be too die for, and the guitars and singing will be in full force. What better way to put in some time while waiting for Santa?! Almost a guarantee that our family anthem, "The Coconut Song", will be played at least ten times. Maybe more.

So while I look forward to the traditions and fun of my favourite day of the year, I hope you all have your own traditions and festivities to anticipate and be excited about. I hope this Christmas finds you happy and healthy and full of joy.

Merry Christmas...and see you in 2010!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Mike Fisher & Carrie Underwood: ENGAGED!

It would appear that country superstar Carrie Underwood got a pretty nice early-Christmas present from Ottawa Senators superstar Mike Fisher.

All the buzz on the gossip blogs, Twitter, and sports websites this morning was that Fisher proposed to Underwood yesterday, and she said yes. A family friend of the Underwoods' was the one to break the story wide open by posting a congratulations message on Twitter, and the news spread like wildfire. Fisher confirmed the rumours at the Senators morning skate today.

You could just hear the cries of despair and anguish from the female public in Ottawa!

It does seem as though Mike's got himself a pretty down-to-earth, sweet girl (as down-to-earth & sweet as you can get in a celebrity these days, anyways) - and I'm sure she must share his values and morals, as he is a very religious and spiritual person who has never been shy to talk about his faith. I'm quite happy to see one of Ottawa's most eligible bachelors ready to settle down and get married.

Hell, if I can live through Wade Redden's engagement & marriage (and the beautiful wedding photos that almost made me cry!), then I can be happy for anyone!

Best wishes to the future Mr. & Mrs. Fisher!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

My Poor Wade...

Two hockey Blogs in a row, you lucky dogs!

But this one is in stark contrast to yesterday's uplifting ode to Mike Fisher. Instead, today, I must vent about one of the hockey world's biggest whipping boys - my own, dearly beloved, Wade Redden.

Since Redden left town a year and a half ago to join the New York Rangers, I haven't heard much about him. And unfortunately, when I do hear about him, it's rarely good.

I've come to accept the fact that Wade is a grossly-overpaid veteran defenceman. His $6M/year salary is wayyyyyyy too much for the player he has become, now in the decline of his career. It's taken me a long time to come to terms with this and be able to admit it. But it's true.

That being said, if the price tag around his neck was in the $2-$3 Million range, no one would bat an eyelash.

But unfortunately for him, his salary has not matched his on-ice production, and for that, he's become one of the biggest poster boys in the NHL for crazy, undeserved salaries. One of the biggest mistakes a GM (Glen Sather) ever made.

It was with a heavy heart that I watched a clip on Sportscentre this morning of Redden dealing with a media scrum following the Rangers morning skate yesterday. He had arrived at the rink yesterday to discover his name on the healthy scratch list for last night's game, and then had a heated argument with Rangers coach John Tortorella about his benching. The Rangers went on to win last night without him in the line-up.

I believe this may be the first time Wade Redden has ever been a healthy scratch in his life. A tough pill to swallow, when you're being paid as if you're an elite d-man.

I still maintain that Wade Redden is not nearly as bad a player as the rest of the world has decided to paint him. And it royally sucks that he hasn't been able to rectify his reputation in New York. There was a time when this guy was one of the best on the blueline in the NHL. He was a Canadian Olympian. He was one of the Senators' golden boys.

I still don't know where it all went so wrong...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Who Needs Spezza When Ya Got Fisher?

The Ottawa Senators have been noticeably absent from the Blog thus far in 2009-2010 season.

Fear not - I haven't abandoned ship. In fact, I've been paying much more attention to the Sens this season than I did last year. Several contributing factors, I suppose - last season, I was still hurting and bitter over the departure of my #1, Wade Redden, to the New York Rangers. It didn't feel like my team without him. Also, the Sens were so dismal last year, it was hard to get excited about them, and when they failed to make the playoffs for the first time in eleven years, it was discouraging as a fan.

That being said, I'm no "fair-weather" supporter - I never stopped marching in the Sens Army. I was always interested in the outcome of games, made sure to attend several matches as usual, and when they quietly faded to black in early April while the top teams in the league battled on for Lord Stanley's Cup, I still called myself a Sens fan, and vowed we'd be back next year.

About 1/3 of the way through the '09-'10 campaign, it's quite clear they are a much-improved team. Stanley Cup worthy? Probably not. But they have been winning, playing more like a team, and it seems that head coach Cory Clouston has them on the right track.

Ah, but what would a Senators season be without at least a little adversity?

This past Monday night, Ottawa lost to the lowly Toronto Maple Leafs for the first time this season. As if that wasn't bad enough, they also lost star Jason Spezza to a torn MCL for up to two months - he likely won't be back until after the Olympic break in February.
Added to the fact that they are already without #1 goalie Pascal Leclaire, and forwards Chris Neil, Shean Donovan, and Nick Foligno, the Sens were scrambling to put together four solid lines for last night's game against the Buffalo Sabres, who came into Scotiabank Place riding a 4-game winning streak. Things were looking bleak.
But this year's version of the Ottawa Senators seem to be able to rise to the occasion, and that's exactly what they did last night. Nearing the end of the first period, d-man Alexandre Picard beat Sabres goalie Ryan Miller with a shot from the point, as Jonathan Cheechoo set up the perfect screen in front of the net. Then the Senators' biggest "pleasant surprise" so far this year, the studly Mike Fisher, added a late goal to seal the shut-out victory for Sens back-up 'tender Brian Elliott.
Where would the Sens be without Mike Fisher? For years, he's been a beloved fan favourite, despite the fact that his production never quite equalled the hype. Nobody ever liked to say anything bad about Fish. He's been so great in the community, involved with Roger's House and visiting sick kids in the area on a regular basis. And even though the devout Christian broke hearts with last year's announcement that he was dating country sweetheard Carrie Underwood, his new relationship endeared him even more to the hockey fans in Ottawa.
On the ice, he worked harder than anyone. He played his heart out every night, even though it wasn't always reflected on the scoreboard, and his grit, effort and determination were unmatched.
Still, it was always on the tips of everyone's tongues - that Fisher was not the player he was being paid big bucks to be. Nice guy, for sure, but not the flashy forward the Sens had hoped he'd develop into.

It's still too early in the season to proclaim that Mike Fisher has "arrived"; that he has finally broken out and become the elite player he was touted to be in his early years as a Sen. However, a very telling sign that Fisher is blossoming is the fact that, on the same night Jason Spezza was shelved with his knee injury, Mike Fisher scored his 14th of the season.
That was ten more goals than supposed "#1 centre" Spezza had at that time.
Even better? With his tally last night, Fisher now has two more goals than he did all of last season!

Suddenly, Fisher's being considered the team's top centre, not Spezza. And it's Fisher's name being mentioned as a possibility on Canada's Men's Olympic Team, not Spezza. And with Spezz now out for an extended period of time, the fans aren't panicking nearly as much as one would expect.


Because we've got Fisher. And so far this season, he's given us reason to believe in him.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

More Success for the Pigott Brothers!

There's nothing I enjoy more than bragging about the Pigott Brothers' successes on the Blog.

I know I wasn't the only Canadian to "discover" them in the summer of 2008 on Canadian Idol, but I feel like I've been there from the beginning, so to speak, and it's awesome to see Oliver and Sebastian Pigott reaping the rewards of their hard work now, a year and a half later.

Sebastian has just finished his stint as Kai Booker on the popular CBC show Being Erica. Throughout the second season of the show, we learned that Kai was in the same time-travelling therapy that Erica was in, except that he was a "refugee from the future". He had been sent back to learn from a past regret (in his case, not finishing one of his songs, which led to a tumultuous life as a rock star and guilt over the suicide death of his best friend and bandmate, Travis). However, Kai had decided to stay there in his past, choosing to ignore his therapist and remaining a 22-year-old barrista at a coffee shop rather than going back to being a 32-year-old troubled rock sensation.

In the finale episode last Tuesday, in a pivotal and moving moment, Sebastian performed the single he and Oliver wrote, "Alien Like You" - known as Kai's unfinished song on the show. It was a beautifully bittersweet moment, as it became sort of was his farewell to Erica, and also his acceptance that he had to return to his real life, ten years into the future. Not only was it an emotionally-charged scene, we also were treated to a Kai montage, a series of clips of him & Erica from scenes throughout the season. So cool!

Following the Season 2 finale, the Pigott Brothers released their version of "Alien Like You" on-line for download. After a full week, it is currently the top download at, and Kai's version is also available on iTunes (search for "Sebastian Pigott").

There are currently no plans for Sebastian's character to return to Being Erica next season, but one can only hope that they'll find a way to work him back into the show. It was such a great feeling to turn on my TV every Tuesday night for the past few months and see him on Erica, a gig that allowed him to showcase both his acting, and his & Oliver's musical talents.

Even if Sebastian is not back, though, it appears that the Pigott Brothers are finally getting the recognition and fame they deserve. With the success of their single "Alien Like You", and an upcoming video release of the song "Rich Man" from their Pigottry album, the brothers continue to roll along, gaining momentum and fans as they go.

I'm so happy to be along for the ride!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ten More Days...

December 15th. Already. I...can'!! :) The Christmas countdown is officially on...Only 10 more days!! YAY!!

There's still so much left to do. I still have two parcels yet to arrive via mail, and until they do, I will continually fret that they've somehow been lost in transit. (It's happened already once this year, and with an order that I placed from the same website, - one parcel was somehow accidentally shipped to Taylor, Michigan. Great.)

Of course, I have nothing wrapped yet. For some reason, I don't like to wrap my Christmas presents until I have them all in my possession. It's like I'm afraid that once they're wrapped, I'll forget what they are or something. So I wait until I have all the gifts, then I have one big marathon wrapping session, and then it's all done. Wrapping is also one of my most favourite holiday tasks, so that could be why I hold off on doing it until the last minute - I want to savour every second of it!

And I still have some more baking to do, as the first go is already pretty much gone. That being said, my "baking" consists of melting chocolate in the mircowave, then refrigerating it into cookie bark or fudge. Simple and delicious...and not very time consuming! Perfect!

The one nice part about the Christmas season so far this year? A nice little blanket of the white stuff on the ground. Hopefully it sticks around. Christmas just isn't Christmas without some snow!

December 15th is a very special day for another reason now...Not only is it 10 days until one of my most favourite days of the year, it is also my niece Danica's birthday - and today, she turns 1! We celebrated her first birthday on Sunday with family gathering at Kara & Chris'. We quickly discovered Danica wasn't nearly as good at opening gifts as her brother was on his first birthday - she didn't even seem all that amused by the tissue paper!

She also didn't get to spend much time in her new pink car, as her brother and cousin pretty much took it over, taking turns going for rides in it.

But the one thing she did handle better than Caden did on his 1st birthday? The cake. She didn't cry when we sang happy birthday, and she stuck her fingers in the icing a few times before we finally cut the cake, claiming one corner of it for herself.

As Caden would say, "Happy Birthday little girl!!" xoxo

Monday, December 14, 2009

That Dane Cook...What a Silly Bitch!

December 11th was a date I had circled on my calendar for quite some time. No, not because it was Captain Alfie's birthday - (although that would be good enough reason to have the date circled - PRAISE ALFIE!!).

No. It was circled for another reason.

Dane Cook. In Ottawa, at Scotiabank Place.


OK. So I haven't been waiting quite as long as some people. It took me a little longer to join the Dane Cook fan club than most. I love my comedy, but I usually only watch once in a while, when I happen to stumble upon Just For Laughs on TV. I was never really into devoting time to following one particular comedian, and aside from the few times they brought Yuk Yuk's to Quyon a few years back, I had never even seen a live show.

Then, about two year ago, I discovered Mitch Hedberg. To prove how late I was arriving on the comedian scene: Hedberg had already died of a drug overdose in 2005 before I "found" him. However, I enjoyed his act so much that I bought a couple of his albums. I let my brother borrow them, and in return, he gave me some of his Dane Cook CDs to check out.

Now, I wasn't living under a rock by any means - I knew who Dane Cook was; I had even seen a couple of movies he was in. But I certainly hadn't seen or heard his comedy routine for an extended period like that before. And while I got a kick out of Hedberg, I was literally laughing out loud until I had tears in my eyes listening to Dane.

And that's where my adoration for Dane Cook began.

I don't get the critics - so many who claim he's unfunny, so many of his own peers who don't understand why he's so phenomenally successful - and I don't profess to be all-knowing in what's funny and what's not - but Dane Cook makes me laugh. And when I say 'laugh', I mean laughhhhhhhhh.

The dude is hilarious.

(And the fact that he's got the tall-dark-n-handsome thing going for him doesn't hurt either...)

I read in the Ottawa Citizen prior to Cook's performance in Ottawa that the reason he may stand apart from other comedians is that often, a comic is someone who is in a minority, or who was picked on or bullied, and has made a career out of using humour to deflect and make others laugh at their own misfortunes in life. Dane Cook, on the other hand, is a pretty average, nice-looking, white male, who instead of using negativity and anger and frustration to base his comedy on, he uses his cheerful on-stage manner and just flat-out makes people laugh, whether discussing his own sexual adventures, whimsical ideas, and amusing situations he finds himself in.

The critics can say what they want. Dane Cook is a silly bitch.

When he hit the stage Friday night for his Global Thermo tour, the follow-up to his Isolated Incident album, it was like a rock star had entered the building. With G'n'R's "Welcome to the Jungle" blaring and fans screaming wildly, an army of security guards lined the path through the crowd that he eventually came running down and up onto the stage at centre-ice.

For the next hour and a half? Pretty much solid laughter. Like, pee your pants laughter. I had already heard most of his act since Luke had bought the Isolated Incident CD and we had listened to it several times, but Luke's right when he says it's even more hilarious to see him do his routine live. His physical act really adds to the humour.

Did I mention he's not bad to look at? Yeah. I kinda fell in love.

(And I also love this pic because of his shirt...)

With this new album and tour, Cook gets a little more personal - even a little more sentimental, if you will - as he touches on the death of both of his parents, nine months apart. In one bit, he discusses the difficulty of deleting his mom from his cell phone contacts two years after her passing, during which he almost has the audience softly going "Awwwwww". The funny part, of course, comes about when he thinks about trying to call her one last time before deleting her and wondering what might happen if she actually answered. ("Honey, I PUNK'D you! That's what you guys call it, right? Punk'd?")

And of course, there's the joke he used as his encore, about receiving an email from ("Right away, I think, 'Great f*cking name!' This guy got the original 'Anonymous'- not 'anonymous_69_kitty_kitty_lick_lick'!") He goes on to explain that the bitter emailer wrote to tell him that both of his parents got sick and died to get away from him and his crappy comedy. He claims the email haunted him for almost two years, caused him deep depression and sadness, but that two years later, once again, another email came from the same address ("...and once again, I think, 'Great f*cking name!'") The repentful emailer apologizes for his horrific email from two years before, explains that he was drinking and jobless at the time, and that he is now dealing with the death of his own father from a brain tumor.

Of course, Dane says..."I had to reply ... 'Dear Anonymous, Your father got a brain tumour and died to get away from his alcholic, unemployed, spineless son.'" Then he drops to the stage amidst the uproarious laughter crying, "I win! I WIN!"

But possibly the biggest laugh of the night? That came during his joke about getting hit in the head with a bowling ball while hiding in the closet. But I really can't repeat the rest of that one on the Blog! ;)

At the end of the night? Dane got a big SUperFInger (or SU-FI) salute from the fans in Ottawa. What an awesome evening of fun and laughs.

Can't wait til he comes back!!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The Death of Mr. Deer

I love snow. Abso-lute-ly LOVE IT!!

So I've anxiously anticipated this snowstorm we're in the midst of ever since they started warning us about it a few days ago. A possible 20 centimetres of whirling, swirling white stuff. Perfect! And boy, is it ever coming down.

Unfortunately, the blowing snow has not been kind to the already-beleaguered deer decoration on our front lawn.

You see, I became the proud owner of little Mr. Deer a few weeks ago when Lindsay was clearing out her garage and giving away all of the odds and ends Bill & Sue didn't want to take to their new house and that she herself had no use for. I immediately snagged the deer. Last year, having just moved in shortly before the holiday season, we had no time to get up Christmas lights. This year, we discovered there is no way of putting any up on the house, so Mom, Luke & I put some lights on a few of the trees in the yard. I was still disappointed that we didn't have enough.

That's why I snagged the deer. I thought he would make a lovely, twinkly addition to our outdoor decorating.

Upon taking him out of his box and plugging him in, we discovered that his front legs didn't light up, nor did his neck, but the rest of him was fine. He even had a head that swiveled slowly back and forth. I thought he was pretty cool!

So this past Saturday, I pegged him down into the frozen ground - so sure he wouldn't budge - and for a night or two, he was happily lit up and guarding our front door.

Then, the other evening, I noticed his head had gone out. No more lights from the neck up. I tried to fix him, but my attempts were in vain. I couldn't get the lights back on. I disregarded our neighbour Shannon's text ordering me to "Go outside and fix your damn deer, he's freaking me out". I didn't think he looked that bad. Then, yesterday morning, her status on Facebook read that she was travelling to work and laughing about my headless deer.

Then a couple of people "liked" her status. Ok, I thought, so maybe my deer needs some help.

I tried tweaking the bulbs and twisting the wires again last night, but I couldn't get the bugger to light up if I paid him.

Then, this morning, it was a complete horror show. During the night, the twirling, swirling blowing snow had knocked my half-lit deer down. When I went outside, he was face-planted into a little drift, and his swiveling head literally made him look like he was having a seizure. Right there, on our snowy front lawn. Not only that, his belly cage protecting all of his wires was open and filled with snow.

I'm sure Shannon was cracking up over it.

Our poor deer.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

What Ever Happened to Macaulay Culkin?

Sunday evening, Luke and I watched one of the greatest holiday classics of our generation: Home Alone.

I remember the first time I saw the movie. I was probably in Grade 2 or 3. And I don't think I had ever laughed so hard throughout a film before it.

Now, as an adult, it still holds it's charm and humour. Maybe I don't split a gut laughing over it, but I still chuckle at Kevin's plight of being left behind while his family all jets off to Paris, France for Christmas. And even almost twenty years later - (can you believe it? The movie was released in 1990!) - the jokes, the storyline, and the elaborate booby-traps Kevin sets up to wreak havoc on the wannabe burglars, aren't that dated and still make for a great holiday on-screen romp.

But after watching it on Sunday, I got to thinking about the boy that made the movie such a huge success way back when: Macaulay Culkin. Quite possibly one of the greatest child actors of our time, and yet...where is he now?
Culkin rocketed to stardom after starring as Kevin McAllister in both Home Alone, and it's sequel two years later, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. Around the same time, he also starred in the popular film, My Girl. Everyone was wowed and amazed by the blonde-haired, blue-eyed, pint-sized comedic genius.

However, Culkin's box office appearances after that were only mildly-successful, and before long, he had grown out of his cute phase - as an adolescent, his image was not nearly as appealing.

Then came the turmoil - that which seems to catch up to and haunt almost any star who peaks as a child.

Macaulay Culkin was a very close friend to Michael Jackson, and is even rumoured to be the godfather of Jackson's three children, Paris, Prince Michael, and Prince Michael II. As a young boy, he spent time with Jackson at his Neverland Ranch, and of course, allegations arose that he was sexually abused by the King of Pop. (Culkin denied that Jackson was ever inappropriate with him, and claims that they were just friends).

Then, Culkin shocked the public by marrying actress Rachel Miner in 1998, when he was only 18 years old. They divorced 2 years later. He was also arrested in 2004 and spent time in jail in Oklahoma for possession of drugs. Add to all this, the rumours that he had a strained relationship with his father, Kit Culkin, and it would appear that he had spiralled downward, as so many child stars before him, into a chaotic miserable existence filled with substance abuse and severe relationship problems.

That's sort of where I lost track of the boy who had once had the entire world wrapped around his little finger.

As it turns out? Macaulay's not really doing that bad these days. I Wikipedia'd him this morning, only to discover he's been dabbling in acting again in recent years, and while his roles and performances have not even come close to garnering the same attention that he did as Kevin McAllister in the Home Alone movies, he has actually earned critical praise for them.

And another shock to me? He's been dating Mila Kunis of That 70's Show and Family Guy fame since 2002.

So almost twenty years later, the boy who was considered the second greatest child star ever (after only Shirley Temple)...well, he's doing alright. And if you need to be reminded of his adorable sharp wit and how hilarious he could be, there's no better time to indulge yourselves.

Home Alone is still a great way to spend an evening in December!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Do I Have to Pick a Team?

I can count on one hand the number of times I've seen a movie more than once in theatres.

40 Days and 40 Nights, during my massive obsession on Josh Hartnett. American Pie 2, because during my high school/college years, there was nothing cooler or more funny than the first few American Pie flicks. And PS, I Love You, because seriously, who wouldn't want to go see Gerard Butler AND Jeffrey Dean Morgan - in the same movie - more than once on the big-screen?!

I think that's it. Until this week. Wednesday night, I went to see New Moon for the second time in two weeks. Allow me to indulge the 14-year-old girl inside of me with yet another Twilight blog, folks. 'Cause as silly as it is, this latest installment in the film version of Stephenie Meyer's vampire love story has thrust me into one hell of a dilemma.

Am I Team Edward or Team Jacob?

After reading the books, I was 100% Team Edward. In fact, I found Jacob annoying, always hanging around, always trying to lure her away from the cold, dead, sparkly sexiness. Sure, Jake was sweet and protective - but he was just a kid (or a puppy, if you will...) Edward was perfection.

Then came the first film, in which Jacob actually only had a very small role. Of course, he was cute & charming, but the long black hair? Ick. No attraction whatsoever. I still was a full-fledged, card-carrying member of Team Edward.

Next came my first viewing of New Moon. All of a sudden, Jake was lookin' all grown up (despite the fact that his character is still only 16 years old), with short hair, and as I drooled about in my "20 Things to Love about New Moon" Blog, the boy got buff. And I mean buff. And he hardly wore a shirt. Like, ever.

I came away from the movie still very much an Edward fan, but starting to see why Jacob had so many giddy girls lusting after him.

And then came Round 2. I went with Lindsay, who had already pretty much declared herself Team Jacob. I went into the theatre pretty determined to stick up for my Edward, even already knowing how I would be left a little breathless the first time Jacob peeled off his shirt. And every time he appeared shirtless thereafter.

But it's just so hard to stick by Edward when, throughout most of the movie, it's all about Jacob. He's the one who's there for Bella when Edward abandons her. He's the one who protects her from evil vampires Laurent and Victoria. He's the one who runs around in the rain wearing only cut-off jeans.
Edward might be cold and sparkly and beautiful, but Jacob is the one who is warm and ruggedly-handsome.
And all of this babbling about the werewolf boy is so so soooo wrong because the kid is only 17. I'm old enough to have been his baby-sitter. Eeeeek.

I feel rather unfaithful to Edward, but I'm starting to think I can't pick a team. Edward vs. Jacob - why do I have to choose? This isn't a Sens vs. Leafs thing, is it? Just because I adore one doesn't mean I can't adore the other...

I can't make up my mind.

So for now, I've decided to set up camp in Switzerland. It's lovely here.

Here, it's okay to love them both. ;)

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The Christmas Craziness Begins...

December 1st. One of my most favourite days of the year.

Now, nobody can tell me it's too early to decorate or sing Christmas carols or turn on the Christmas lights. It's officially "okay" to get into the holiday spirit!

A little hard to do this year, considering the severe lack of snow on the ground... But I've managed to get myself wound up for the holidays anyways. Most of my gift buying is done (God bless you, on-line shopping), I have my iTunes Christmas playlist ready to roll, I have all the ingredients to make my potluck dishes and Christmas baking, I have dug up all my favourite festive specials on both VHS and DVD, and I have re-stocked my inventory of gift wrap, bags, bows, and tags.

I'm not sure I've ever been this prepared for Christmas before in my LIFE!

I was doing a little looking back on the Blog, and I was reminded of how different the "waiting" was last year - because not only was I preparing for Christmas, I was also anxiously anticipating the arrival of my sister & her husband's second baby.

My niece Danica will be 1 on December 15th. Seriously, where did this year go?!?!?

And while I was absolutely thrilled the day she was born, I've now realized that adding her in to the mix, I know have three - count 'em , THREE! - December birthdays in my family. Dad on the 10th, Kara on New Year's Eve, and now Dan too on the 15th. As if the Christmas season wasn't jam-packed enough...or hard enough on my wallet!

So now, the busiest of months begins - Christmas gatherings with friends, birthday parties for family members, the parade, Dane Cook on the 11th, a Sens game on the 21st...

Let the Christmas Craziness BEGIN! :)